Coach serves up Swedish meatball

TERRY JONES

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

QUEBEC CITY -- What was he thinking?

There will be all sorts of controversy in Sweden today with coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson's decision to go with his third stringer in goal for the bronze medal game here yesterday.

"We thought he would be up for the challenge," said Gustafsson.

Stafan Liv, which rhymes with sieve, was considerably less than up for the challenge as Finland scored a 4-0 win over Sweden in a game which isn't incidental in either country.

Liv made only nine saves in the game while Niklas Backstrom at the other end made 36 for his second shutout of the tournament.

"I think goaltending was the difference," said Finland captain Ville Peltonen.

"We weren't all that much better but Niklas Backstrom was very much better They had their chances and outshot us badly."

The win gave Finland a third medal in consecutive years, a bronze in 2007 and a silver in 2008.

Antti Pihlsrom scored two of the goals with Janne Niskala and Mikko Koivu adding the others.

Teemu Selanne announced after the game that he'd just played his last game for Finland internationally.

"I knew before the tournament that this would be my last time with the national team," said the player who won the Stanley Cup last year with the Anaheim Ducks, rejoining the team late in the season this year and then heading to Halifax to join the team after the Ducks were eliminated.

"It was great to end my career for Finland with a win. We came for gold and it is only a bronze, but the last game was a win.

"I am so proud and so grateful for this experience and all my experiences playing for my country. It made me a better player.

"When I was 17 if you had told me I was going to experience all of this I would have asked you what you were smoking."

Selanne said he'll make his decision on whether he'll return to the Ducks for another year before July 1.

The game was memorable for Finland in another way as Saku Koivu played with brother Mikko for two periods.

"That was a real nice experience," said Saku, the Montreal Canadiens star who joined the team after the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"I didn't know that we'll have a chance like that again. Our parents were in the stands. That was pretty cool as well."

It may not be Canada-Russia going for gold, but Finland-Sweden going for bronze is not nothing.

"A medal is always a medal," said Koivu.

"A lot of people back home were watching. It's a big tournament back home and it's always big against the Swedes."

The Swedes beat the Finns in the finals of the world championship in 1992 and 1998 and beat them in the gold medal game of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.


Videos

Photos